Pretty as the English countryside. That’s how Pilkingtons strikes me when I walk in off Shortland St. It’s billed as a “bar, terrace, kitchen”, and the design includes an abundance of colourful floral furnishings, greenery and a swathe of dangling blown glass pendant bulbs — which is fitting given that this was once the site occupied by British glass manufacturers and merchants, Pilkington Glass.
One dining area spills into another and I welcome the change from the minimalist Danish-led design that has recently been such a strong influence.
We settle for a seat on the terrace since the afternoon sun is still managing to stream warmth through the towering office blocks. It won’t be long before the season dictates they fire up the outdoor heating system and we’ll be shrugging their offered blankets around our shoulders.
I never read the reviews on those dining-out sites. The opinion of a random, usually anonymous, stranger just doesn't cut it for me. As my Mum used to say of lots of things, you don't know where it's been.
But what does annoy me is that the websites' basic information is so unreliable. At the time of writing, Zomato, the new arrival on a crowded block, had a list of "Dine-Out Restaurants in Auckland": the first was dessert-only Milse; the second was Sawadee, which is surely the worst Thai restaurant in the country; and spot six went to a burger place in a food court.
Zomato had only one remark to make about Pilkingtons' menu - that it serves barbecue chicken. It does not. And they call this the information age.